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Saturday July 30, 2016

Hope you'll join us, at Wells Hall. Singles, couples, first-timers, and experienced dancers; All are Welcome. No partner needed; Alcohol and smoke-free; Workshop for newcomers (see below.) We have a great time, dancers, caller, and musicians too! Sponsored by the Seattle Folklore Society.

JOE MICHEALS will teach and call the dances - caller of great charm, long experience throughout the region, a fine repertoire, an amazing voice, and knowledge of the music as well. You may remember his calling from May 21 when he called an amazing dance out in front of Contra Quartet in Tacoma; we're pleased to welcome him back to Wells Hall. Joe's calling excellence comes in part from his experience as a contra dance guitar and bass player in several bands, including mighty Red Crow .

SMALL PLEASURES will be Vivian Williams and Catherine Graham on fiddles, Phil Katz on melodeons, and Phil Williams on guitar. We go back to the start of the contra dance tradition in Puget Sound; Vivian and Phil Williams to the early contradances here at the Inside Passage in Pioneer Square in the 1970's, and Phil Katz to the initial Saturday contradance series in Puget Sound (the Salmonberry 2nd Saturday dance begun in the University Friends' Meeting House in 1980.) Personally I (Phil K) can look out from the stage and recognize dancers I've been playing for since 1979 or 80. Catherine Graham, a recent graduate of Pacific Lutheran in Tacoma completing her first year of teaching in Spanaway, is one of the region's most promising young fiddlers. She has long been a student of the Washington Old Time Fiddlers, and of Vivian in particular; and has an amazing ability to pick up style and new repertoire. (Ahh youth!)

Our band plays "close to the dance and the dancers", choosing our tunes to match the dance chosen by the caller, and our styling to support the dancers as each dance evolves. It is a pleasure to play for our friends out on the dance floor. We call our contra tune repertoire Northwest and Yankee music. We bring together the Yankee contra repertoire of the Northeast, along with tunes from the pioneer Northwest. Many of the latter have been unearthed by Vivian, a musical historian and researcher, from tune books left behind my musicians in places like a gold mining camp near what is now McCall ID, and a religious colony some 40 miles SE of Portland. Folks keep showing Vivian historical manuscripts to re-edit and typeset, and we keep finding lost gems of tunes therein, suitable for today's dancing.

Lately Vivian has also been enthusiastically reintroducing tunes from our own contra musical history in Puget Sound; tunes from the Salmonberry repertoire of the 1980's and early 90's, along with tunes she herself wrote for dancing in the 1970's and '80's. Vivian tends to "light up" when she plays her latest finds for dancers. Kewl (did I say that?); we think you'll enjoy dancing to this musical history; they were fun tunes to dance to back in the day, and they still are.

Specifics on the Event:

The Fifth Saturday Contra Dance will be held at Christ Church Wells Hall, 310 North K Street, Tacoma - directions below. It is well-known as one of the sweetest halls in Puget Sound. (Note: It's the same location as the Tacoma Contra Dance that's usually held on Third Saturdays.)

The dance will run from 8:00 - 11:00 pm. The cost is $9.00, with a $2.00 discount for 18 down and 65 up. As always, a 10% discount will be available to Seattle Folklore Society members who request it.

There will be a newcomers' intro-lesson at 7:30 pm. Contra dancing is "not rocket science", and by the third dance, anyone looking out over the crowd will likely be unable to tell who just learned that evening! Joe Michaels is easy to learn from, in terms of his knowledge, his considerate manner, and his amazing smooth voice. We are proud of the tradition of asking newcomers and visitors to dance, and looking after them on the dance floor. (Experienced dancers often bring friends they've been wanting to introduce to contra dancing, and help out by dancing in the mini-lesson.)

OK a few notices . . .

Please avoid wearing scented products (e.g. perfume, aftershave, cologne, scented hand lotion) to the Fifth Saturday Contra Dance. (Dancing, being aerobic, magnifies their scent, and also the effect of the solvents used therein!) Some dancers are hypersensitive or allergic to such products.

A word about children's attendance: It is fine for older children and teenagers who are comfortable interacting with adults on their own. However, it is not appropriate for small children unless they are on the sidelines supervised by adults at all times.

A caution on parking: The street right across from the hall has been posted as a "residents only" zone, so please don't park there - tickets have been given. There is plenty of parking on adjacent streets, and there are spots behind the church as well.

Directions to Wells Hall   

310 North "K" Street, Tacoma

From Seattle, "Eastside" of Lake Washington, or Des Moines

I-5 south to exit 133 (Tacoma City Center). Then take I-705 and the Schuster Parkway exit on the right (still called I-705). From there again stay right and take the Stadium Way (first) exit from Schuster Pkwy. At the top of the exit ramp, turn right. The street goes up hill. Follow it til it ends, then swing left onto North 1st. You pass Stadium Thriftway and a Chevrolet lot, and then merge into Division at a traffic light. Continue on Division, turn right onto North "K". Wells Hall is the second building on the left. Enter the dance through the church courtyard.

From Olympia

Take Interstate 5 to Tacoma, Use the right 2 lanes to take exit 132 toward S 38th St (Route 16-Gig Harbor exit), which is quite a bit south of the center of Tacoma. Head for Route 16 (skipping the actual S 38th St exit); then once in the curving freeway ramp from I-5 into Route 16, keep your eyes peeled for the immediate first exit (1A) from Route 16; to Sprague Avenue. Once on S Sprague Ave at street level, you're heading north; pass lights at 19th and 12th (or 11th) until you come to multi-way light at 6th. Take the soft right into Division (not the sharp right into 6th). Follow Division to the light at North "K" Street and take a left. Wells Hall is the second building on the left.

From West of the Narrows Bridge

Follow Rt 16 across the Narrows Bridge. Take exit 1A for Sprague Ave. Once on S Sprague Ave at street level, you're heading north; pass lights at 19th and 12th (?? or 11th) until you come to multi-way light at 6th. Take the soft right into Division (not the sharp right into 6th). Follow Division to the light at North "K" Street and take a left. Wells Hall is the second building on the left.

For more information please contact:
Phil Katz - - 206 722 8228.
(you know what to do with the ZZZ)

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Last modified 06/09/16.